About the Author
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a teacher. As my cousin reminded me this past summer, I always played the ‘teacher role’ while playing school when we were children. I also remember career day back in middle school. My teacher had asked us to select three jobs that we were interested in. I picked teaching because I wanted to help children, a pediatrician because I wanted to help sick children and a secretary because I wanted to help others stay organized. Little did I know that I would become a teacher and my job would include all of those things that I wanted in a job. Everyday I get an opportunity to help children. Sometimes it’s with an area that they struggle with, sometimes it’s providing a safe environment, or teaching them something new. No matter what, I know that at the end of the school year my students are moving on with a little more self-confidence and a brighter future. In some small way I hope to have helped each and every student of mine.
Reflections on my Journey
At the beginning of my teaching career, fidelity to the curriculum was crucial and teaching from a teacher’s manual was how I learned to teach. Today we have more freedom to use resources that we feel as educators are best tin order to teach the standards. This is where my journey to further my education begun. How can I become a better teacher? How can I effectively use technology in my classroom? As I now reflect back to the beginning of this process I can see how much I have grown as an educator. All of those ideas that were overwhelming and scary, I now have the courage to implement in my classroom.
What is TPACK? You are probably already using this framework and you don’t even know it. TPACK is a framework the combines the area of pedagogy, content and technology. Teachers are always trying to find ways to make their lessons more engaging for students and that is where the technological area of TPACK comes in. Technology isn’t the lesson, but it is the way in which a lesson can be delivered.
As I reflect on my own journey this past year, I can really see how I have evolved as a 21st century teacher. Before, I didn’t have a very large technology tool kit. Now I can see the value in game based learning, digital storytelling or mapping, online quizzes that provide students with immediate feedback, brain break videos that are content based, and so much more. The TPACK framework has reminded me that technology is an added component to HOW I teach, not a replacement. I am excited about my student’s future and my future as an educator.
Lasting Learning from the Innovative Learning Program
As a teacher in the twenty first century you can’t be afraid of change. Technology needs to be your friend not your enemy. It is a tool that can slowly be integrated into your teaching along with content and pedagogy. After completing a master’s in Innovative learning I can’t help but think of a Dr. Seuss quote, “Oh, the places you'll go.”